How to Reset Your Kids’ Homework Habits

Is homework time a hot mess at your house? Here’s how you can get back on track.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Petri Oeschger

Petri Oeschger

Remember when the school year started and we all had such high hopes for how our kids would tackle their homework? Maybe you purchased a few extra supplies so when they were ready to work, they had everything they needed at home. Or maybe you designated a special area to be the "homework station" so your kids could work quietly and efficiently on their school assignments.

But now that we’re way past the honeymoon stage of a new school year, homework is getting messy and possibly even forgotten. However, there’s still plenty of time to regroup and reset the way your kids take on their homework — and there are plenty of ways you can help them get back on track. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips to inspire a homework reset!

Help with a Cleanout

Now is a great time to help your kids clean out their bookbags, folders, and binders. Help them sort through everything that needs to be saved, the things that can be trashed, and assess if their school supplies need to be replaced. There’s a good chance you already have the items they need at home, like folders, pencils, or pens.

During the cleanout, talk to your kids about the importance of staying organized and encourage them to do cleanouts more frequently. Even though this is a simple step, it can make a world of difference for kids trying to learn routines and how to stay organized. Plus, it’s a skill big kids and little kids all need help with. Honestly, it’s a skill we can all work on too, right?

Create a Calendar

Check in with your kids and see how they’re recording all of their homework assignments. If it’s an agenda book or an email from their teachers, help them come up with a system that actually works and is easy to maintain. Talk to your kids about how and when they will complete the work. You and your kids have busy schedules, so making a plan helps. Instead of procrastinating and becoming overwhelmed, you can help your kids create healthy work habits that will make everyone’s lives easier.

Make a Space for Homework

Even if you had a homework station and it disappeared or was abandoned, now is a great time to bring it back. Grab a few supplies and set your kids up at a table or a desk with good lighting. If your kids don’t love the location, switch it up to another place that works for them and for you.

Set a Schedule Together

Some kids do really well when they tackle their homework right after school. However, some kids need a breather before they can work, and others do their best work in the early morning before they catch the bus. So, figure out what works best for you and your kids, and set up a homework schedule together. Then, be sure to check in on them to make sure they’re sticking to that schedule after a few days, weeks, and months.

Help, But Let Them Work

If possible, make yourself available to help, especially if your kids are younger. Let them know you are around to assist them, but the homework is their job — not yours.

Remove Distractions

Even if your kid swears they can multitask and watch a show and do homework, you know the truth. When it’s time to complete their homework, help by getting rid of distractions. These can be screens, the TV, or even noisy siblings. This may mean giving younger siblings a quiet activity to do while older kids work, or getting creative with them when homework happens. It can take some juggling and prying screens away from our kids, but it will make homework time a lot easier.

Keep Checking In

It’s so easy to get busy with life and let things like our kid’s homework habits get off track. However, helping your kids with a reset is good for them and for you. Since no one wants to deal with homework battles, a reset is good for everyone.


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